"The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by
holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of
George Bernard Shaw 1856
I hope I might be the holder of such a mirror to my friends.
May each of us never forget that, "A faithful friend is a strong defense: and he that hath found such an one hath found a treasure." Ecclesiasticus 6:14.
Is it any surprise that it has been said, "He who has friends is rich?"
Planet "M" --Ah, we got our M&M characters on the wall today. They look great. Truly, there is an "M" in everyone. Good work kids!
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Talked to my cousin Jeri tonight... first time in a decade. Great to reconnect Jo :
Bully Pulpit Vent of the Month:
Okay... so I got a bit miffed this morning as I thought about all the anti-organized religion whiners and activist. It's fine if you don't like religion, but don't be so arrogantly ignorant (yup, I said it...) as to call it evil. Yup... humans have done horrific things since the beginning of humanity... some in the name of religion, some in the name of God, but mostly horrific acts are committed in the name ignorance, hate, or greed. So, at least admit that some organized religion has been good for our country... and good for the world. After all, it was organized religion first on the scence at Sri Lanka after the psunami...organized religion first on the scene at New Orleans after Katrina... first to offer relief to displaced fire victims, earthquake victims, flood victims, and so forth.... First on the scene of so many tragedies! And why are they there? To help Christians? No. But to bring relief to all people who are suffering. All the great relief efforts provided so efficiently and rapidly by religions throughout the country... could not happen without organization. And... for those of you who arrogantly put them down... I wonder how quickly you would welcome their organized efforts if you or your family were faced with a disaster. Hmmm.
Okay... that's my vent for the month. Tomorrow I'll be good.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I don't think I want to know the interpretation of THAT dream ;)
Heard a funny line on the radio this afternoon. Comedian Dan Anderson said, "Having a kid is like getting a sloppy roommate who's never going to leave." No need to add my 2 cents to that one.
On a serious note, today my next-door neighbor passed away. She fought a 12-year battle against cancer; she finally succombed this morning at 7:30am...about the time I rose from my bed. The spirit around her home was serene and reverant as I paid my respects. Death is such a sacred part of mortality. Her passage was a peaceful one; now she lives without the oxygen tank that has been her constant companion for the past five years.
"Death, the sable smoke where vanishes the flame."
Sue's was a sweet flame. She was an honest sweatheart of a lady; she will be missed.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Charles Scribner, Jr.
Ah, where would we be without books? It's a bit weird to realize that when someone reads my novel they will be taking a trip through my mind, especially if they know me. That was the strangest part for my daughter... She said it was uncomfortable reading the romance scenes and knowing that they came from my mind. Hey, I was young once. Then there are the eerie, sinister parts that made my friends look at me like I was a complete stranger. "I had no idea all THAT was in your head!" Yeah, I get that a lot ;) -- even before I began writing.
Planet "M" -- We explored the process of osmosis today... Only a two spills this year :) Next week it's solar hot dogs... can't wait.
Had dinner with the Eichelbergers tonight.... Ahhhh more Germans !! Does this mean I'm going to dream about Hitler again? ;) We've GOT to do that more often, (Dinner,, not Hitler!)
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Sometimes, after a particularly great day of teaching, I experience the joy that Henry Ford is talking about. There is nothing, to me, that compares to the feeling that what I did during the day made a difference in somebody's life. In my case, it is the life of a child that I have the opportunity to impact. I believe it is every great teacher's dream to be a positive and moving force in their students' lives. So, call me an optimist or an idealist; I will wear the badge happily. And I won't tell you about the "other days" when I come home feeling like an old house dog... like I accomplished nothing of worth ....
Planet "M" -- Today I heard a hysterical story about a disgruntled parent who purposely placed sharp items in a parking lot so their ex would run over them and pop their tires. True story. Thankfully, this sort of thing would NEVER happen in a school parking lot ;) I got a million of these .... true stories that is, not sharp objects. We try to keep the sharp objects away from teachers. Some day, when I no longer need my teaching credential, I will write a book based on my assistant principal's experiences. If I didn't witness some of them with my own eyes, I would swear she was lying.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
"Pressure and stress is the common cold of the psyche." Andrew Denton.
Perhaps there is no cure for the common cold---but chicken soup sure helps. Maybe that's the key for handling stress as well. Gotta try it sometime.
Planet "M" -- Can't wait to hear the 30 second commercials the kids are preparing for Friday. That's how they will introduce their M&M characters to the class. Ah, the year is off to a great start.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Quote for the night: "It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not." Andre Gide. This brings me to my Planet "M" story of the day...
Planet "M"--Today I did something I have never done before...I barked at the counselors. I heard a rumor that I was to receive yet another student in my advisement, which is already ten over the legal limit. I marched into the counselor's corridor and rather impolitely voiced my disapproval. Could I have handled that better? Yup. I don't think I was liked very much today. Truth is, I would have a hard time giving up ten of my advisement students... legal limit or not.
Monday, August 24, 2009
"It's choice, not chance, that determines your destiny." Jean Nidetch.
Well, I don't believe I agree with this one--Ms. Nidetch must not have tried to land a literary agent in the 21st century.
I think Ellen Frankfort had it right, "Choice has always been a privilege of those who could afford to pay for it."
Uh oh... Do I detect a bit of sarcasm in my tone tonight? Oops.
Been researching Civil War etiquette for my nexst novel. It keeps me distracted during the torturous waiting game. Things have been too quiet on the agent/publishing front... too quiet for my comfort. Think I'll send out another wave of query letters... just to keep the flow going. It's a funny thing, but even receiving a rejection is better than silence. I know that is an insane comment to make... and likely is not true... but receiving any type of correspondence makes me feel connected to the process.
Silence feels oddly threatening.
Yup, that's my impatience speaking again... but what the heck... I have never been one to sit quietly and wait my turn! I have to keep moving---even if it's in the wrong direction :) Embarrassing to admit, but true nonetheless.
Planet "M"--- Today I got my first "You have GOT to be kidding me!!!" e-mail from a parent. It's the kind of e-mail that makes me wish I could say what I'm REALLY thinking! Ah, I'm all about PC communication... so I'll be big.
Yup! Hence the sarcasm.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
"But it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation." Herman Melville.
I like this quote because it is sort of what I (and other authors,) experience in trying to get a book published. Publishers and Agents claim they are looking for something original, but more and more I see the same books published with different titles. I think of one rejection letter that I received from an agent that suggested I create more sexual tension between my main characters. Now I ask you, is that "original"? My main characters are not like others because they ARE original, as is their relationship. So, I would rather fail than change the dynamics of their relationship to satisfy an agent.
Loved having my daughter and her boyfriend this weekend. There is so much joy in motherhood.
Thought for the day:
"To teach is merely to fill a child's bucket; it requires action only on the part of the teacher. However, to educate is to illuminate, inspire, and empower a child. Rather than fill a vessel, it kindles a flame." Kathy DiRanna.
Friday, August 21, 2009
"He that can have Patience, can have what he will." So says Benjamin Franklin. Ah, sigh... Deep sigh.
"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet." So says Jean Jacques Rousseau. LONG, DEEP SIGH.
I want that sweet fruit that is promised to those who are patient.... I just want it NOW! Growl!
Planet "M"-- Survived the first week of school---a bit tattered and worn, but stronger. I can't wait to see my students' M&M characters and to hear their 30 second commercials. Language Arts is going to be so fun this year!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
"Public opinion is no more than this: What people think that other people
think." Alfred Austin
That is the quote for the day... and it is definitely the rule of thumb among middle school students.
Planet "M"---today we created M&M characters... Hey, there's an "M" in everyone. Don't believe me? Check out www.mms.com and create your own M&M character.
No news to report... no rejections, no requests for transcripts. Blisters on my feet from standing all day... getting back into the routine of teaching is rough business... but It's a wonderful profession. I'm never bored :)
Took my dad to the doctor today. Wow, in a few months he will be 90! And in a few weeks, he will celebrate his 69th wedding anniversary. Way to go Dad!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Okay, those are the frustrations of a mother... Of a truth, I love this kid. And it's a darn good thing that I do--or he'd be in the pooper right now.
"Planet M" update---I now have 44 kids enrolled in my advisement class. By contract, 34 is the limit. I'd say I'm a BIT overstaffed,,, would you agree? Ever tried to harness the energy of 44 twelve year olds---in a very small space? Good times!! And yet, other than the few poor lost souls who are still wandering the campus in a zombie daze, there are no stories to share. These kids are like stepford students. Let's see how long the honeymoon lasts.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Planet M--- I had a blast with 6th grade WEB. I am quite certain my classes are the best in the whole 6th grade! Aye, the classroom gods they be a smilin' down on me this year. Thank you!
Nothing new to report on my book.... but the voices are back :)
Monday, August 17, 2009
Good news for the rejection queen... she received a request for her manuscript from a literary agency. That's big news for writers. Way to go Jenny!
From Planet M---Gotta love those new 6th graders! There is always one with deer-in-the-headlight eyes...totally lost. They look up at you, afraid to utter a sound, and reluctantly hand you their schedule--hoping of course that you can read their mind and point them in the right direction. Ah, the rites of passage!
Tip of the day: Use car wax on your white board. Two coats will keep away unwanted residue from your expo dry erase markers. Compliments of Kelly Manzani.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Look for entries from "Planet M"---some of my best stories come from real life haps at school. In order for Planet M to work, I will have to promise to be honest--even when it's politically correct not to be. Teachers rarely can say what they are really thinking!
INFP -- that's me. Introverted (why do you think I love to write?), intuitive, feeling (yes, I do have them,) and perceiving--I don't like closed doors, so I don't make decisions quickly. There is always a better idea. If you haven't taken the Myers Briggs temperament test yet, you definitely should. If you don't want to pay $$$ for the whole test (350 questions), then visit the Kiersey Bates version (70 questions). It's free, fun, and it provides great insight into your temperament.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Had lobster tacos today for lunch with good friend, Charlene. It's the last time I'll have a real lunch hour for months. No freakish dreams last night... it was my husband's turn... he dreamed I was running off to a casino to meet a younger man. Hilarious! Hitler's girlfriend to cougar! Wow, I'm busy.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Today was our official day back to school (teachers,) and soon I will welcome 180+ students into "Planet M." Every year is a new adventure... that's one of the beauties of teaching. Already students are contacting me to find out if there will be a "New Moon" club this fall. Of course there will be~!~! Bring your dazzle dust--it's sure to be sunny.
Oops, gained a pound. ... Darn that anniversary cake!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I went to visit my neighbor this evening. She is dying of cancer--a battle she has fought for over 12 years. This summer it finally got her. She only has 2-3 months left to live, and she becomes weaker by the day. Still, she remains positive and concerned about other's needs. She is such an amazing woman, and I am blessed for knowing her. I'm glad that I forced myself to walk over and introduce myself two years ago. It is way out of my comfort zone to do so, but I felt it was important for me to know my neighbors, so after battling with insecurity and shyness (yes, believe it or not, shyness!!) I finally made myself take that long walk next door. I've never regretted it.
Wonder what my dreams will hold for me tonight.... hopefully an new angle. Oh, confession--I did not jog today or even walk. Instead, I ate blueberry pancakes with my good friend, Judi.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Since I will enter something everyday for the next year, you might as well know what I hope to accomplish during that time. Hold me accountable, ok? Make sure they are all checked off by next August 10th. Here is my wish list for the year--my "Ten Things To Accomplish This Year":
1. See my first book published
2. complete my 2nd novel
3. lose 10 pounds (what would a wish list be without that?)
4. pay off my credit cards (except for Macys... there will always be a balance on that one!)
5. have a literary agent
6. go to Hawaii for the first time
7. attend Raechel's college graduation
8. run for 3 miles without stopping (okay, I'll jog... that counts.)
9. win a jackpot in Vegas (just thought I'd throw that in there--what the heck!)
10. learn to play Chopin's Etude in E on the piano (play it well, that is.)
11. have my first mammogram (Okay, so this one is extra, but it's important enough to make it o my list. I'm embarrased to admit I'm 47 and have never had one.)
So my entry for today? Today is my 7th wedding anniversary with Ron. He's the hub on my wheel---he keeps me centered (whether I want him to or not,) as I spin out of control. It's our lucky #7. Feels like a lifetime.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Meanwhile, I'm becoming very well acquainted with rejection as I go through the "publish my book gosh darn it!" process of finding an agent and/or publisher. Someday,,, it will all come together. And when it does, I vow to help unpublished authors get published.